How Too Much Social Media Can Lead to Depression


The idea that too much social media is dangerous is not new, but recent research suggests that maintaining too many social media platforms can lead to depression and anxiety.

According to researchers from Pittsburg, people who report using seven to eleven social media platforms are three times more likely to suffer depression and anxiety compared to those who use zero to two platforms, regardless of the time spent on using social media.

Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., director of CRMTH and assistant vice chancellor for health and society in University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, said that it is possible that people who suffer from symptoms of anxiety and depression are using a wider range of social media outlets; that they may be looking for a venue where they can feel comfortable.

However, he added that by maintaining multiple presence on social media may cause anxiety as well as depression, but said that more research may still be needed to support this.

Primack believes that are there other possible reasons why people have the tendency to maintain multiple social media accounts but here are his three possible explanations on how too much social media causes depression and anxiety:

  •  Multitasking or switching between social media platforms is said to be linked to poor cognitive and mental outcomes.
  •  When the number of platforms being used is increased, it is becoming more difficult for the user to navigate and this could lead to negative mood and emotions.
  •  There is a higher chance to commit social media faux pas when trying to maintain multiple social media platforms, thus increased chances of getting embarrassed.

César G. Escobar-Viera, co-author of the study and a psychiatrist said that the study aims to design and implement educational public health interventions by understanding the way people use social media platforms and their experiences with them.

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